Email Address: eli.dial@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Apostolic Transfer

Hello, everyone!
As you can guess from the title, this week is transfers!  I'll be staying here with Elder Schraedel, and it's going to be a lot of fun!
The other part of the title is explained in picture number 1:



Elder Dale G. Renlund (of the 12 Apostles), Elder Kevin W. Pearson (of the General Authority 70), and Elder Torres (Area 70), and their wives came and visited the north part of the mission this last week!  We had a meeting with them on Saturday at 8:15.  It was awesome!  The prophets and apostles of our day are definitely called of God!

Our week was going amazingly.  Stress levels were at the "Norm" for missionary work.  Then Sunday came around.  But first, more background.  We cover the Sage and the Ladera wards.  One starts at 9, the other starts at 1, so we are usually at church from 7-5 every Sunday, with a quick break to go home for lunch.  So we show up at 7 for the Ladera ward council, where we are told that Elder Renlund will be attending our block of Sunday services. (My first reaction: "He what.")  They didn't know which Sunday School class he was going to attend.  But, jokes on us missionaries, we're the ones teaching Gospel Principles that day... which we were unprepared for...  No, he did not come to our class, but, Elder Torres did.  *sigh of relief*  Instead of trying to lead a discussion on the 2nd Coming of Christ, we ended up talking with a member of the 70 about why an Apostle would pick the Ladera ward of all wards to attend.  (I'm still asking that question myself)
As for the rest of the week, it was awesome!  We were able to find a couple new investigators, one is kinda meh about learning more, the other one is GOLDEN.  The only thing holding him back is some paperwork- I won't go into detail, so don't ask. :)  We started teaching him this last week, so we naturally started with the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We got to the Book of Mormon and asked him if he had one. He said, "Yes, and I'm reading it." "Where are you at?"  "...3 Nephi 18"  "What have you noticed as you've read?"  "I am filled with peace, things are a lot better in my life...." 
My question for you all is what do you feel as you read the Book of Mormon? If you say you don't feel anything, try reading it in a different way- and don't ever read it just to read it.  This book is more important than your neighborhood novel.  It. Will. Change. Your. Life.
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!                   

Elder Eli James Dial

PS. Pic 2 check out our blue Christmas Tree. :)


"And so (Christmas) begins."

(Sorry it's late-I got sidetracked by the holidays) 

This was sent on December 4, 2017

Happy birthday in November to:
Tyrell
Nate
Grandpa Dial

This week has been crazy, but that's just the usual with Christmas and missionary work, so... Yeah, this week was pretty great!
This last week was the Ladera ward Christmas party, as is shown in the first picture.  Santa was there, but I wasn't able to get a picture with him.  :(


The next picture is the car of a brother that was baptized this last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing him for baptism, and he is from the Rio Grande ward (part of the same area that we cover, but the Spanish ward).  No, I do not know Spanish, he knows English so we did the interview in English.  
(Zoom in on the logo if you can-it says Jurassic World)


Picture #3-- That should tell you all you need to know about how much Albuquerque's good at spelling... XD


This last week we went on exchanges with the Rio Grande Elders, and it was fun!  I was with Elder Finlay, he's only been out about 3 months now, he's still in training, so it was quite the adventure!  We got a referral to give a blessing to a lady who was in the hospital, but we didn't know where the hospital was.  We got the main gist of where it was and went searching.  It was on the edge of our area, and long story short, we ended up leaving the zone. We knew we had, so I turned into the nearest parking lot I could so we could turn around and be back in our zone... But instead of turning around I parked.  Lo and behold, I just so happened to park in the parking lot of the hospital we needed.  "Coincidence? I think NOT."  It was cool!
With Christmas Eve on a Sunday, there will only be 1 hour of church, right?  The wards we cover are deciding to do a mainly music sacrament meeting... So, Elder Schraedel and I are now in 3 musical numbers... for the same ward.  2 of them are the ward choir that was organized just yesterday, and the other one is just us missionaries... Guess who's singing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", "Silent Night", and "With Wondering Awe"?  (Hey, you do what you got to do to build member trust)
Anyways, #LightTheWorld with the Spirit of Christmas!  Go and serve those around in whatever way you can!  Love ya, talk to yall next week!

Elder Eli James Dial

We Gobble Gobble the Turkeys

(Sorry for the late posts-I got sidetracked by the holidays)

This was sent on November 27, 2017

I've had nothing but roasted turkey for 3 stinking days.  (the quote is slightly changed, but name that movie!)
Anyways, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Keep being grateful for what you have and will receive! 
This week was awesome!  We went on exchanges with our zone leaders, Elders Pitcher and Chesler, both of which were in the MTC with me!  I went to their area with Elder Pitcher, and it was really cool!  I was in Los Lunas; it was strange to see that many trees again! They were brown and winter-ified, so I was actually very used to the color scheme ;)

These next few weeks are going to be very different!  We are having Elder Christofferson, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, coming to... half the mission.  He's going to El Paso on Saturday for some meetings down there, and one of those meeting is with the four zones of missionaries that are in Las Cruces and El Paso. Then, on the next Saturday, Elder Renlund will be coming to visit the other half of the mission- all seven zones of missionaries from Los Lunas to Santa Fe!  It's going to be awesome!

We found a couple new investigators this week, that are media referrals!  A media referral, for those of you who don't know, are people who have either called the church, or gone onto Mormon.org and asked for a bible, which just so happens to be delivered by us, so we do what we can to set up a return appointment with them and begin teaching them! 
One of our wards is having their Christmas party this weekend, where Elder Schraedel and I will be presenting the #LightTheWorld initiative to the ward!  It is going to be epic!  If you haven't watched the video for it yet, consider yourself with homework.  :)
Not much to say this week, but know that I love you all, and become a light in someone else's world during the Christmas season!  (But be sure to lead them to Christ!)

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, November 24, 2017

More Pictures!

Here's some pictures for you:
Picture 1: After 15 months of no smoothies, I still got it!  (But this time, without sugar :)




Picture 2: The closest I've been to the downtown part of my area.




Picture 3: At zone conference last week, we found that there were 7 of us missionaries that were in the MTC together- here we are! 




It's a Great week for Gratitude

Hello, everyone!
There has been a lot of things happening this week, but my brain is just tired enough that as I tell them to you, there might be bits and pieces everywhere, so you gotta have quick feet to follow what you're about to read. 
Picture 1: That was something we went and did last P-day as a district



                                                                  -Background time-
In this area, we cover the part of Albuquerque that is called "Old Town". Take a gander as to what that means.  JK, I'll tell you.  So it means that we cover the old part of ABQ- you know the old cowboy films that have this little village/thingy in the middle of nowhere? That's basically what it is, but slightly modernized and a lot cooler.  Anyways, while there, they have multiple museums that are not your typical museum.  That one in the picture is the one we went to.  It's a bunch of interactive stuff meant for kids, but we're young in terms of the whole, so we went as a district last week (besides, as we are a little older, we were able to appreciate it more).  Why the picture of our tower?  That plate in the middle is moving at speeds above your average merry-go-round, so it was quite the accomplishment for us (told you we appreciated it a lot more ;).
Then, Elder Schraedel and I have been building member trust as best as we can, we'll find out in the future how well we're doing.  Although, we can say that some members are unable to have us over for dinner sometimes, so they have been giving us money so that we can go out to eat.  But, instead of swimming through McDonald's or anything, we took the district out for a breakfast this morning.  Twas a lot of fun. :)
That less active couple that I talked about last week?  We visited them again, and sometime in the near future, we are going to start teaching one of their friends in their house.  And, that couple came to church this last week. :D
It's been a lot of fun this week, but I don't know what else to say.  So, I'll just give you a quote from Richard G. Scott that my dad sent me a couple months ago:
"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously.  When these trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more.  He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit.  To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."  (Richard G. Scott, October General Conference, 1995)
Keep pressing forward!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial


Friday, November 17, 2017

Faith + Patience = Miracles

Hola, everyone!
This week has been a pretty great week!  A miracle or two, and a little bit more understanding of Alma 26:2-3!  It truly is a HUGE blessing to be an instrument in the hands of God!  I will explain a little bit more.

But first, the pictures.
So, Elder Schraedel and I will kinda just randomly take pictures, and this is the first one I took.  I may or may not have one of me mid-yawn, while Elder Schraedel is just in the background...  :D


Next is the most rural part of our area.  It has more trees than I've seen in 15 months, hence the picture. (In Laguna, it was mainly cactus and trees the size of bushes, so they don't count.)  


Now, I am not going to talk about the miracles and such yet, I gotta end the email on a good note, so I'll tell you about the opposition among the three companionships in this district: the Spanish Elders are a bike area- they had a car until this last transfer, but with an increase of missionaries and lack of cars, they became a bike area.  The difficult thing is the transition- they're fine being a bike area, but their bikes have had a struggle for awhile- enough that we've helped them out- but the problem is, is that our car doesn't have a hitch or anything for a bike rack- so, in order to help them, Elder Schraedel and I have been looking for a companionship in the Albuquerque area who has a car with a hitch so that we can switch cars in order to help them out a little bit more.  Next, last week the Hermanas, the other companionship in the district, got into a small car accident (they're alright). Because it must've been something preventable, rumor has it that they are going to lose their car- meaning they'll potentially become a bike area as well.  The problem with that is that they are the Sister Training Leaders, which means that they are the ones who go on exchanges with other sisters and report to the District Leaders and Zone Leaders of the said sisters to tell them how they are doing. And because there aren't as many sisters in the mission as they are Elders, these sisters cover multiple zones/stakes.  So these Hermanas go on exchanges with Sisters in the Santa Fe zone... the zone that is about 1.5 hours north of Albuquerque (around 60 miles), so they kinda need a car.  Along with everything that comes with the Christmas season, it is about 4 times busier as it is already, so... Yeah, this district has seen a lot of opposition recently.  Now to the good stuff. :)
There is a less-active family in the Sage/Rio Grande ward (some of the family is in the English (Sage) ward, some attend the Spanish (Rio Grande ward)) who recently had a son in his 30's commit suicide.  We were called and told about this last Monday, so we decided to visit them.  We ended up visiting them on Wednesday morning, and we were able to give the father, whom I will call Bill, a blessing.  Thursday night, we get a call from Bill's sister, who is also in our ward.  She told us that we saved Bill's life by going over on Wednesday.  Bill was planning on taking his own life in the same way his son had, but, when he was in the garage about to do it, he heard voices outside... Us two LDS missionaries had just pulled up and started talking to his wife.  ("Coincidence? I think NOT.") He then came out of the garage, and we were able to visit with them in their house, where we gave him the blessing. The funeral for Bill's son is today, and as far as we know, they are doing alright now. 

The Spanish Elders are giving whatever rides they have lined up for them to the Hermanas, and either way, the ward they cover (they cover the same ward) is stepping up to the plate. If the ward is not ready/willing to step up, Elder Schraedel and I are getting to know more members who can come with us so that we can save miles to drive the Elders around as necessary.  And as far as switching cars, zone conference is this Wednesday, so we will talk to some missionaries there and figure out if we can switch with them. Everything is lining up! (Don't worry, I just knocked on wood ;)
The joys *cough cough* stresses *cough cough* of missionary work just never cease!  :D

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  Keep the Faith!

Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Week 1 back in civilization

Heyo, everyone!
Real quick, (or as quick as you want to read this) happy birthday last month to 
Stephanie
Gabriel
Becky
Sarah
Grandma!
Hope it was awesome!
For this week, I found out that as I covered downtown El Paso, now I cover most of downtown Albuquerque.  I guess there's something that I need to learn by making my way downtown. ;)
Elder Schraedel is awesome- he's so funny and it makes for quite the conversations when we're tired. Example 1: Scenario: we are laying on the ground in our study room at 9:30 at night, trying to tell ourselves to get ready for bed.
Me: "We need to make sure that we always have people to visit during the day so we don't stay here and stare at the wall like we are right now."
Elder Schraedel: "... That's the ceiling."
Me: "The ceiling is just a wall resting on other walls."
Elder Schraedel: "The ceiling looks a lot scarier now."
Me: "Yeah it does."  

Anyways, I cover 2 wards, the Sage ward and the Ladera ward.  The two missionaries who were in this area before Elder Schraedel and I were two missionaries who have both finished their missions- so they were getting trunky during the time they were in this area. (Trunky=ready to go home, but in missionary terms)  It's taken a toll on the members here.  I met a couple members on Wednesday night, and I was asked the question, "Are you nearing the end of your mission, too?" and the brother who asked it said it almost forlornly.  I knew right then that it had had quite the effect on the members here.  That's alright, the work is cut out for us (Elder Schraedel's been out for only 10 months, so if either of us get trunky while we're here, something is very wrong!)
So, I am still a district leader, and the only elders in my district just barely got switched to a bike area, so we have had a fun time helping them out.  They called us Friday night, saying they got a flat tire two miles from their apartment at 8:30 at night, so we went over to help.  Because we have a little car, not the truck like I was used to, this is what we did.  We managed to fit the bike into the car, along with the missionary who was riding it, which left his companion outside of the car.  As missionaries, obedience brings blessings but exact obedience brings miracles.  That missionary, Elder Blanchard couldn't be by himself at all, we're supposed to stay with our companions...  So we ended up driving the car alongside him while he biked until we got to their apartment.  The best part? When we got to their apartment, Elder Blanchard's bike got a flat tire as well. XD

Here's some pictures of the Laguna area, that's me standing on the baptismal font in the Laguna chapel,



then there's me and Elder Cornelison with an investigator couple, Claudia and John, 



and then there's me with Alva and Theresa, an active member and an investigator. 



I'll send a couple more pictures in a different email!







Talk to you all next week!  Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Transfer Week :( :( :(

(Elder Dial sent this on October 30th)

Hi everyone! 

In case you didn't pick up on the hint in the title, I am getting transferred.  :(  The good thing is, is that I knew it was going to happen, so I was able to say bye to most of the people before I left.  I would send pictures, but my camera is dead, and I can't charge it until I unpack the charger tomorrow.  Sorry!

I am getting transferred to Albuquerque, after 14 months of not serving in Albuquerque, I'm finally going there... to the ghettos, also known as the Sage ward and the Ladera ward.  My companion will be Elder Schraedel, I've been on exchanges with him before when he was in the Albuquerque West zone over here.  He's awesome!  I'll be in the Los Lunas stake, so that'll be fun!  I'm not the only thing leaving the Laguna area though- the truck is leaving also!  The 2016 Nissan Frontier that we now drive has been used in this area for the last 2 years, and it has 53000 miles on it- 20,000 of that have been while I've been in the area.  So Elder Cornelison will be driving a brand-spanking new truck and training a brand-spanking new missionary.  

As far as what happened this week, we were able to make tortillas with an investigator- I'll be able to make flour tortillas from scratch when I get home!  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad that I got to do that!  It was with an investigator named Becky, she's been investigating for 2 years, and every missionary that has taught her has made tortillas with her! I didn't think that I was going to be able to, but she made it happen!  I'm pretty sure I burned my finger tips though. XD

I don't know what else to talk about, except that Elder Cornelison and I have had so many funny moments, it's hilarious!  He's so funny, he doesn't even do it on purpose, it kinda just happens. XD  Last week, we were driving to an appointment, listening to music, and I look over at him while I'm driving.  He was staring intently at his index finger.  I asked him what he was doing, to which he responds, "I'm doing the finger worm. Can I help you?"
Another one happened on Saturday.  Knowing I would be leaving, we went to the post office in Cubero to check the mail one last time in case there was one for me.  Elder Cornelison had the key, so he opened it, looked in, seeing nothing, and said, "Hello?"  He usually doesn't get a response, but this time he did.  We hear this man's voice saying, "Hello" in response.  We were super confused. After about 10 seconds of looking around, we realize that the worker there had opened the back and was sorting through the mail right then.  Elder Cornelison realized what had just happened, and he said, "oh, I didn't see you there."  The man then says, "That's alright, you startled me."  We told him that he startled us, and then we awkwardly walked out.  It was pretty great. XD

Not much else to report, I'll let you know more about my area next week!

Te whanuanga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, October 23, 2017

Pre-transfers Email

Hola, yateeh, guuwahtsi, ellohae, hello (insert language here) everyone!

Out of all my weeks on my mission, this was one of them.  XD

Hope everything up there is pretty chilly, because it's pretty chili down here.  ;)  (I'm feeling pretty punny/ movie quotes today, so keep your hands at the level of your eyes in order to see them. :)

This week was pretty good!  We found 2 new investigators this week (we found them by teaching at the jail- they've been released and want to learn more!), and we put them on date for November 4th!  They're not going to make it, because they have to be living the commandments for at least 2 weeks before their baptism, and they would have to have started living the commandments on Saturday... Which is hard to do when you're living together but not married...  If they get married while I'm here, the title of my email may or may not be something from the Princess Bride, so you have to have both eyes open, just in case you miss it. ;) (in order to be baptized on the 4th, they would've had to be married last Saturday... 3 days after we started teaching them.)

Brother Nielson, the member of our branch presidency that was in a motorcycle accident 2 months ago, came to church yesterday!  Since the accident, he was told that he wasn't going to survive, then it changed to he'll have to be in the hospital for at least 2 months, to getting released from the hospital after 37 days and back at church after 2 months of the accident, he's a walking miracle!  He does have 6 titanium plates and 33 screws in his face, but he's walking with a cane and is doing fantastic!

Paul, the less active brother from the To'hajiilee branch, came to church yesterday, and he came with 8 of his less active grandchildren who were between the ages of 13-25!  In that branch, we had 17 people on the branch directory there- 11 of which were related to Paul- and that's a lot for our branch!  I've been to church where there were literally 2 of our branch there- outside of us and the branch presidency and their wives.  Progress!!!

We went on exchanges with Elders Furlong and Kropf on Tuesday, and then with Elders Robinson and Nelson on Saturday, it was a lot of fun!  I still don't speak Spanish, but that's alright. It was a lot of fun to be able to act like I understood it.  ;)

Transfers is next week, I'm probably going to be transferred, especially after 36 weeks in one area, but I'll find out for sure on Saturday!  "Stay tuned for scenes from [my next email]."


Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!
--
Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Frozen and Robots

Hola, everyone!

How's the weather up there???  Down here it was consistently around 70 or above, until last Tuesday, when BOOM. 45 degrees all day. Yeah, we froze, but now it's consistently around 55 or above, so no snow for us.  :)

This week has been a good one!  Many new things were tried, a lot of fun was had, and missionary work happened! 

First off, last Sunday we had an amazing lesson with an investigator and were able to put him on date for baptism!  Two days later, we found out from the less-active family he was living with, that he had to go back to his house with his parents (that's code for he got kicked out).  Unfortunately, he lives in Blue Water... in the Gallup stake, in the Farmington Mission... :(

But Taylor, the 10 year old from the Gallup stake, is going to be baptized here!  They are going to transfer her records over here to the Laguna Branch, so that is going to be epic!

We have zone conference tomorrow, so that'll be fantastic, and it  will be a lot of fun!  Elder Cornelison and I will be giving a training, stay tuned for scenes from our early Christmas episode... :D  (Yes, our training is on something for Christmas)


The last week or so, I've been realizing that missionaries have a robot mode, especially when teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the 3rd lesson. A lot of times, we start off with faith in Christ, which is a good starting point, but NOT the best starting point.  The first point tells the why of the Gospel of Christ: Through Christ we can be cleansed from sin.  Having faith in Christ, repenting, following Christ through baptism and through partaking of the sacrament, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost don't mean as much to me unless I am cleansed from my sin.  That just so happens to be the main message that Corianton in the Book of Mormon was supposed to share with the Zoramites (Alma 39: 15-16).  As shared in the scripture, this "prepares our minds" for what? For anything that comes our way!!  If our minds aren't prepared, it becomes extremely difficult to do anything!  So study the Gospel of Jesus Christ and be prepared!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Sanity: Who needs it??

(Elder Dial sent this email on 10/9/2017)

Happy late birthday in September to Adi and cousin Levi!

Pictures:  that's Elder Nelson and I on exchanges, we hiked a mountain for morning workouts.  Cause we can do that. :)



2: that's the truck we have, and the trailer we live in.  After 8 months of me being here, there's the picture of what we live in.  XD



3:  The sunset. FYI, that water is not usually there... Either that person decided to flood irrigate, or the rain just stayed there after like 3 days without rain.  I think it was the rain- we got enough that that would happen. XD



The reason for the title of this email, is that I've been going crazy being here for as long as I have been... I was starting to lose my mind about 4 months ago, but now I've gone completely bonkers...that's alright, my sanity was never really consistent anyways, as is shown in picture 4. 



We were on exchanges with the spanish elders, and we did a role play with this guy as the investigator... His name is Wormtail.  We started teaching him by saying, "We don't have much time, and we know you've been busy trying to kill Harry Potter, but..."  

This week started off discouraging, but it ended on a good note yesterday!  We've been telling people about the ratio rule, and a couple people have gotten offended. I feel kinda bad, but that's their choice for not liking our obedience to God.  If we are converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then that wouldn't be a problem-  but that's alright, we'll help them out as much as we can- that's why we're here!

We found a new investigator yesterday, and he's on date to be baptized for the 28th of October!  He seems pretty solid, we'll find out tonight, when we teach him again!

That's it for me this week, talk to y'all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Pre-Conference Confusion

Wasabi, everyone!

This week was... a week, that's for sure.  Monday and Tuesday went pretty "normal".  Wednesday, the truck started acting up, so we called the vehicle coordinator who told us to drive to Albuquerque.  It's a good thing we had budgeted our miles, because we coughed up 300 in 3 days.  So on Thursday, we drive the 50-60 miles to ABQ and drop off the truck at the place we were told to, and got picked up by the zone leaders and did weekly planning at their apartment.  Then, we were called about the truck, telling us the fixed the initial problem, but that there was a leak in the truck that we would have to take it back on Friday for them to fix.  We were told that we could drive it, so we did, which we used to drive back to Laguna, to pack 1 day's worth clothes, and we drove back to ABQ that night- thus destroying 170 of our last 350 miles for the month.  

Elder Dial's shoes after Wednesday
That brings us to Friday, which was potentially the worst day of my whole mission. We take in the truck to the place as early as possible (8:30 or so) so it can be fixed and back up to speed.  We go to our zone council meeting, and lunch, which takes us to 12:30ish, and still no call about the truck.  We decided to go do some service with our zone leaders, and that took about 3-4 hours.  Now it's about 4:30, and no call about the truck.  We elected to call them, and they told us, "We can't fix that leak, you should probably take it to the dealership. You can still drive it, though. "  -_-   We decide to take the truck, go to our one appointment in To'hajiilee, then go back to our trailer to grab clothes till Tuesday night, (just in case we needed them).  We were already about an hour late to our appointment (we told them what was going on). But, with the area getting rain last week, and the dirt roads... yeah, we ended up getting stuck for about 45 minutes, even in 4 wheel drive.  At that point, it was about  6:30 when we got stuck. We didn't have phone service either, so it was quite the adventure. When we got out, around 7:15, it would take us 30 minutes to get home, and then the hour to get to ABQ, so we went home instead of to the appointment (Elder Cornelison had gotten out to start pushing, he was all muddy and wanted a shower) (we were able to reschedule with them, though), hoping to get something for dinner before we headed back to ABQ, which didn't happen. With everything that happened that day, when we got back to the zone leaders apartment, we hadn't had dinner, or even personal or comp study.  That took about 140 more miles out, so even if we wanted to go back to our area on Saturday, we couldn't. 

Elder Cornelison's shoes after pushing the truck out
To top it all off, that night, I'm writing in a notebook what I've learned that day, and how I've seen God's hand that day, as I have every day since August. As I'm writing, "I learned today that I hate car troubles" my FLIPPING pen dies.  Needless to say, sleep and General Conference was a glorious welcome to these missionaries.  (The leak in the truck STILL isn't fixed, though.)

On a much happier note, General Conference was fantastic! I am not sad that Elder Hales passed away, though.  I think he had the ideal passing.  The last song he heard was sung by the best choir in all the world, a song that should be our motto throughout life, and was his: "I Believe in Christ". My favorite phrase from that song says:

"And while I strive through grief and pain
His voice is heard, 'Ye shall obtain." 

But, the only catch, is that that part has to be sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  They make that phrase right there, the first climax of the whole song.  If you don't believe me, go and listen to it. 

This week may have been a difficult one for us, but that's alright!  We grow all the time, no matter the grief and pain we all have, if we press forward in faith, "[we] shall obtain". 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!  :)

Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, September 29, 2017

Week 31 in Laguna (has it been that long??)

Hola, everyone!

I'm glad that I got to stay for another transfer, because if I was leaving, I wouldn't have been able to go to the biggest feast of the pueblo, which was last Tuesday.  We went to 4 houses- which means we had 4 meals.  No, it was not "breakfast-lunch-tea time-dinner".  We wish it was that simple. No, we had our own breakfast, then we had 2 lunches, and 2 dinners, which also means that we had all 4 of those within about 5.5 hours...  and with how windy it was, we got a 5th meal with how much dirt ended up in our mouths.  Man I love this area. XD
Also, today was our "Missionary Monday" which is the day that the Albuquerque temple opened just for us missionaries to go and do an endowment session!  I was able to go through for one of my ancestors that I found, and it changed my whole perspective on this work that we are engaged in!  I also got to see a lot of faces I recognized from El Paso, and if I were to count how many times I heard the words "you need to come back to El Paso"  I'd probably be around 30 times just today.
I gave a baptism interview last week, it was really cool!  The person preparing for baptism is in the YSA, his name is Kai, and he's doing awesome!  He's being taught by the sisters in the zone, and because the sisters are in my district, with me as the district leader, I got to talk to him to see if he is ready!  It was really weird, but pretty sweet!
It's General Conference week!  I'm super pumped because that's our time to receive personal revelation from the words of the living prophets and apostles!  I promise you that if you watch conference with a question in mind, and if you go with a desire to know of one thing that God wants you to do to become better, you WILL receive your answer, and that one thing is going to push your limits, but allow you to become more like Christ in a way that somebody in this world needs you to be! 

Someone needs you today for who you are right now,  and more people need you tomorrow because of what you become today!  Keep moving forward with faith, even while the world seems to be falling in fear- fear is not part of who God needs you to become!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Time flies....when the clock is thrown out the window ;)

Hola, everyone!  


This week has pretty groovy for the Laguna, Acoma, and To'hajiilee area, I think. I wasn't there for most of it, I was on exchanges twice in the last week, both times I came in to Albuquerque, so I only got to spend like 4/7 days in my own area.  Speaking of which, I have been in Laguna for right around 7 months now... and I'll be here for another 6 weeks!  This next transfer will be my 6th in Laguna, which is unusual, even for this area!

Exchanges with Elder Robinson, the zone leader here, was a lot of fun!  We ended up talking with some people who are from the Bi-hi faith.  Long story short they believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but that somewhere in the Book of Mormon he prophecies of a man named Ba'ha'u' lah, who is "in fact, the Risen Christ" and that He came about 200 years ago.  We asked about the 1000 years of peace that's supposed to come with Christ's 2nd coming, to which we got the response, "God's timing is mysterious."  -_-  Yeah, we taught her about the Book of Mormon, and how Joseph Smith's own words aren't even in it, but that we have the Doctrine and Covenants that are his words.  Elder Robinson told her that he had read all of the Doctrine and Covenants and that he hadn't seen any reference to Ba'ha'u'lah, and this lady said, "Clearly you missed it."  
Needless to say, we left without setting a return appointment.  XD

Then, on exchanges with Elder Furlong, I was able to test out my Spanish (that I didn't try very hard to learn while I was in El Paso), and it turns out that I can understand the gist of what they're saying, but I can't respond in Spanish.  It was cool to have that feeling of having no idea what's going on again!

Don't ever give up, I'll talk to you all next week!

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is that Tevya???

Hello, all!
This week has been pretty great, I finally got to go somewhere that is not normally open to the missionaries... Sky City!  A little background, Sky City is on the Acoma pueblo that we're technically not allowed to go.  Sky City is on top of a mesa that is off by itself, and it's sacred to the natives, and if you go on top without permission, you could potentially (98% possibility) be in prison for the rest of your life.  But, on feast days, they don't turn anyone away-and Sky City only has 2 feast days a year: the one this last Saturday, called the Governor's feast, and one near Christmas.  The kindness of natives is pretty epic!  Naturally, no pictures, but it's still a great memory to have!

We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders this last week, and it was weird to be in a house or two where the people didn't speak English... I kinda miss having that feeling of having no idea what's going on because it's all in Spanish!  It was cool, and those Elders, Elder Eskelsen and Elder Furlong, are doing amazing things in the two Spanish branches they cover! 
Now, for the part referencing the title of the email: Tevya.  He is the main character of "Fiddler on the Roof".  Something that happens a lot in Fiddler on the Roof is traditions are broken... and this area is all about traditions.  We invite people to learn more about what we teach, and they say, "I believe in my traditional religion [which is a mix between Catholic and Native American Culture]."  Over the years that this area has been opened, some traditions were created. Elder Jackman and I stopped one- all our planning was dropping by people, we wouldn't have return appointments.  We now set return appointments with a lot of people, sometimes people don't cooperate, but that's alright.  Elder Cornelison and I are tackling another tradition that this area has- what missionaries call the ratio rule.  The ratio rule is a rule that says that there has to be three members of one gender in a house or room to be able for us to enter said room or house, and we've been told that the ratio rule applies to us on the rez, because we wouldn't be able to teach anyone if we did...    Most of our investigators are single older ladies that enjoy having us over, but we have been telling them that we can't go over unless we either bring another male with us, or two more ladies with us or... they can invite their friends!  It's been difficult, but for the last 4 months or so, we haven't had any of our 15 or so investigators keeping commitments.  Just on Saturday, we found out that 2 of our investigators are both progressing- reading the Book of Mormon everyday, praying daily, and they both attended church this last week-along with one of them being on date for baptism!  It's really cool to know that as we are exactly obedient, miracles happen!
That's it for me this week, just keep your head up and never give up!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Monday, August 28, 2017

Lockdown

Hola, ya at eeh, Guuwadzii, hello, family and friends!

This week sure was an interesting one, that's for sure!  We got invited to a free bbq while we were in To'hajiilee last Monday, and we were able to teach 20 people about the Book of Mormon, and also one of them had watched "Meet the Mormons" so she "knew what us missionaries are about". It was really cool, but it would've been better if she asked us herself, but hey- that's why they made that movie in the first place!  It was weird to see that technology like that still exists in this area, and that we have those resources in this area, even though we don't even have phone service in half of our area.  XD

Yesterday was a music fireside that our stake, Albuquerque West stake, hosted, and it was really cool!  They invite missionaries and others to play music that will direct people's thoughts to Christ.  For it to be an effective use of our time, we had to have either a less-active or investigator there... (or be a part of the program) so we were hoping and praying for someone to be there- and we had Alva, an active member, bring her friend, Theresa, an investigator, to it!  It was awesome!

Here's a fun experience for all of you:  Our Branch President in Laguna has been trying to have us to start teaching at the Rehabilitation/jail here in Laguna...  It's been a long process, but we were supposed to start teaching there a week ago on this last Thursday. So on that day, we went to the jail, walked in, but no one was in sight, so we sat down and waited.  We were there for 15 minutes before we saw two security guards who, naturally, asked us what we were doing there.  We told them that we're missionaries and that we were supposed to start teaching the inmates there.  One of their exact words, "Sorry guys, but we've bee on lock down for a couple hours. You're going to have to leave."   Yep, we were in a jail that was on lock down, and we were there for 15-20 minutes.  Man that was fun! XD

Don't any of you ever give up!  God believes in you, so you can do it! 

Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

It's a total eclipse of the heart

Good morning, Family and Friends in the Spudlands!

This week has been pretty good, it's been a lot of eating, and quite a few chewing outs were given/hinted at to us, but that's alright!  The work goes on, that's what matters!
There was a Mesita feast last Tuesday, so we feasted like kings, even though the spicy food 

....  I accidentally sent that first one before I was finished...

That sums up what happened this week. XD

So the spicy/hot food, was fantastic!  I'm still not quite used to it, but my tolerance is increasing. 

Elder Cornelison started to get sick last Wednesday, so that made the rest of the week fun. We went on exchanges with our zone leaders, Elders Damstedt and Robinson on Friday, then Saturday- I got Elder Cornelison's sickness.  So what do we do? We take some meds, and get to work!  One of us will take whatever opportunity we can to take a nap, hopefully get up to full speed before the week is out, and find those people to invite to come closer to Christ!  

I didn't have much to write this week, but we did have a less active member come to church out of the blue!  His name is Paul, and we have been unable to meet with him.  He's a genius, and teaches Navajo at a college, and has been to the temple and everything.  He went less active because of one friend being excommunicated from the church a while back, and he never came back because of it!  He just showed up at church yesterday, and it was really cool to see!

Love you guys, don't forget: "Don't let something to be done become more important than someone to be loved"!  (I might've quoted that wrong, sorry!)

Te whanuanga mo ake tonu!

--
Elder Eli James Dial

Friday, August 18, 2017

Dogs

Hola, friends and family!  How's it all going?

This week has been pretty epic!  I'll start off with the pictures:  This is our guard dog when we are in East Housing of To'hajiilee. We call him Buster. He prepares the way for us.  



This second picture is our stalker stray dog, but we like to think he's making sure that we don't have a sneak attack from behind.  We're well protected when we're in East Housing, even without the dog treats that Elder Cornelison bought. XD



This next picture should tell you how missionary work can drain someone.  That is my companion, taking a nap as we drive. Nothing out of the ordinary right?  Look at his hands.  He's holding the phone, but it's open.  Yes, with how much we drive in this area, it's easy to fall asleep. But, he's so tired, that he fell asleep while he was texting someone; he was in the middle of the text!



Now on to the business that I know you all are just dying to hear:  the work of the Lord.  

It's been epic.  We talked to a less active lady that lives in Seama in Laguna- (Seama's the village that we know the least amount of people) and she had said to our relief society that we could be the home teachers, but that didn't work out. Turns out that she wanted to tell us not to come back or anything, and to tell us that God is not all-powerful, because if He were, He wouldn't need us missionaries to be His helpers.  If God really could do anything and everything He would just pop down here on earth and tell us which church was true and we would have world peace and we wouldn't have to live "in hell" as she said.  While she was saying all this I was listening, politely paying attention, and she then told me that I was too quiet and that she doesn't like that.  So she proceeded to tell me that "whatever you want to say, say it."  Naturally, I bore testimony to her that God puts all this bad in the world because He's helping us fulfill the commandment to "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect" and that we can't be perfect without His help. That because He is an all-powerful God He can help us to fulfill that commandment. If He weren't an all-powerful God Phillipians 4:13 and Luke 1:37 would both be false statements, and things like that.  It was cool to me because it helped me to recognize that as we listen the words will naturally flow out of from our mouths. :)

We are helping a former less active, who is now fully active and has a calling to teach relief society, named Verna, to go to the temple, she's looking for her own family names and is preparing for the first week in September.  Because she was baptized within the last two years, we would be able to go with her!  Woot! Woot!  (That second one was the echo, Bodie ;)

We found a new investigator this week, which is a pretty cool story because we were going to talk to her kids (her family has been taught before and is very difficult to meet with).  She ended up inviting us in and told us that she didn't have time to read "the Bible we gave her" (She meant the Book of Mormon)  and proceeded to ask us that whenever we came by if we would be willing to read it to her and help her understand then she would make time for it.  So we read the intro and all three testimonies in the Book of Mormon to her, and it was really cool!  She lives in San Fidel, which is in the west portion of our area.  Twas pretty sweet!

Lastly, we have a bunch of people who have difficulties forgiving people for things that were said but not meant.  How can we help people to forgive one another? Any suggestions would be awesome!


Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Hump day!

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email August 7th)

Hola, people of Earth that are on my email list!  How's it been going?  Everything has been going pretty fantastic down here in the New Mexico Sauna.
First picture: the camel.  His name is Humphrey. He is passed down through the missionaries, but only to missionaries who are about to hit their halfway mark, which, among missionaries, is known as Hump Day.  My zone leader, Elder Nelson who has been out for 6 weeks longer than me, gave me Humphrey. My "hump day" is almost here. 


Second picture:  It's been raining a lot this past week, and multiple times we've been in a position where we could see the whole rainbow. Here's the middle part of it for you. :)


Transfer news: Elder Cornelison and I are staying here in Laguna.  I'll be here for 5 transfers at least, which is the average that people are out here in this area. :)
This week has been pretty legit, we've been meeting with the branch presidents of our branches so that we can work together with them more and be more effective in this area. It's going to be amazing in this area!
We are going to start teaching at the local rehab this week, it's going to be a lot of fun!
The work is moving forward down here, and I know that it is up there as well, so why not be a part of it?  I love you all, and don't forget who you are!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial

Thus begins week 6 of transfer 8

(Sorry this is late, Elder Dial sent this email out on July 31st)

Wasabi, friends, family and fellow missionaries!
This week has been a swell week!  So swell, that I don't remember what happened. XD
We had zone conference this last week, on Friday and it was pretty sweet!  We were able to hear a lot of what the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would like us to do as a mission, and we were able to learn the we have a member of the 70 coming for a mission tour this fall/winter/sometime soonish. XD
We went on exchanges this last week with Elder Snow and with Elder Woods, (Elder Snow came out to Laguna with me) and it was pretty cool!  I took Elder Snow to Sky City, which is a sacred village that is on top of a mesa in Acoma (we're not allowed to go on top of the mesa, but we're allowed to go see it from a distance [well, we're kinda allowed to do that]), and it is intense (no, no in tents, but intense ;)
The Seama feast was this last week, it was pretty cool!  That was my second feast that I've been to, and it was legit!  I hope that I'm here for one more transfer, because if I am, then I would be blessed to go on top of the mesa known as Sky City for a feast.  :D
We had the opportunity yesterday to listen to four returned missionaries give talks in sacrament meeting (2 per branch) and it was really swell!  One of them said a poem that I memorized and wrote down:

"I tried to find myself
Myself I could not see.
I tried to find my God,
My God eluded me.
I tried to find my brother,
And then I found all three."
If you want things to work out in your life, if you want God to help you in your life, go serve others!  Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, and go out and [serve others] as if everything depends on you!  If you serve others with a prayer in your heart, everything is going to work out!  Fare thee all well!
Te whanaunga mo ake tonu!

Elder Eli James Dial